Dec 31, 2017; Baltimore, MD, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard (25) celebrates in the end zone after  wide receiver Tyler Boyd (not pictured) fourth quarter touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Cincinnati Bengals defeated Cincinnati Bengals 31-27. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

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Bengals release RB Giovani Bernard after 8 seasons

Dec 27, 2020; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) rolls out of the pocket against the Cincinnati Bengals during the third quarter at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals released running back Giovani Bernard on Wednesday after eight seasons and more than 6,500 yards from scrimmage.

Bernard, 29, played in 115 games (30 starts) for the Bengals since they drafted him in the second round in 2013. He rushed for 3,697 yards and 22 touchdowns and caught 342 passes for 2,867 yards and 11 scores.

The emergence of two-time 1,000-yard rusher Joe Mixon, 24, made Bernard expendable. Last September, Cincinnati gave Mixon a four-year, $48 million extension through the 2024 season.

NFL Network reported that Bernard requested his release. Other reports said the Bengals tried unsuccessfully to trade him and had asked him to take a pay cut. He was entering the final year of his contract and carried a $4.77 million cap hit, including $3.7 million in base salary.

Bernard ranks seventh in Bengals history in rushing yards, just ahead of Mixon (3,359).

–Field Level Media

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